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Deputy Commissioner, Legal Matters

Deputy Commissioner Michael Gerber

Deputy Commissioner, Legal Matters:
Michael Gerber

The Deputy Commissioner of Legal Matters (DCLM) serves as the New York City Police Department's general counsel, providing legal guidance on all aspects of the Department's operations. The DCLM advises the Police Commissioner and Executive Staff on major litigation, criminal and civil matters, and critical legislative and judicial developments. The DCLM is also responsible for monitoring and facilitating the relationship between the Department and the rest of the criminal justice system.

The DCLM oversees the Legal Bureau and License Division. The Legal Bureau is charged with a wide array of responsibilities, including interpreting local, state, and federal laws, negotiating complex contracts, and conducting legal trainings for the Department's uniformed members. The License Division is responsible for the administration of all firearms licensing in New York City.

Body Worn Camera Unit

The Body Worn Camera Unit is responsible for managing all legal aspects of the NYPD’s Body Worn Camera program. Members of the unit process video-release requests, defend the Department in related litigation, and help develop policies and procedures regarding body worn camera footage.

Civil Section

The Civil Section serves as in-house counsel to the NYPD on all civil issues. Attorneys assigned to the Civil Section litigate Article 78 proceedings concerning Freedom of Information Law requests, represent the Department before the New York City Civil Service Commission on appeals filed by disqualified job applicants, provide counsel to Department personnel regarding the conflict of interest rules, and defend the Department in employment discrimination cases before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the New York State Division of Human Rights, and the New York City Commission on Human Rights.

Federal Monitor Liaison Unit

The NYPD is subject to a federal monitorship that arose out of three lawsuits that challenged the NYPD’s policies and practices regarding stop, question, and frisk practices and policies. The Monitor reports to the court on the NYPD’s progress in implementing the court-ordered reforms. The Federal Monitor Liaison Unit serves as the Department’s primary point of contact with the Monitor, advises the DCLM and other Department executives on issues relating to the monitorship, facilitates document and data production requested by the Monitor, and responds to the Monitor’s reports regarding the Department’s compliance efforts.

Inspector General Coordination Unit (IGCU)

IGCU serves as the Department’s primary liaison to the NYC Department of Investigation’s Office of the NYPD Inspector General (OIG-NYPD). IGCU processes requests for data, documents and other information from the OIG-NYPD. IGCU is also responsible for reviewing and preparing the Department’s responses to OIG-NYPD reports.

Intelligence Matters Section

The Intelligence Matters Section is comprised of a team of attorneys embedded within the Intelligence and Counterterrorism Bureau to oversee, monitor, and implement the Handschu Guidelines, a set of court-ordered rules that pertain to all NYPD operations involving political activity.

Investigative Support & Training Unit

The Investigative Support and Training Unit oversees the daily operations of the following subunits:

Administrative Subpoena Unit
The Administrative Subpoena Unit supports the Department’s investigative units through the issuance of administrative subpoenas for evidentiary records in criminal investigations.

Detective Bureau Liaison Unit
The Detective Bureau Liaison Unit provides legal counsel to Detective Bureau personnel at all stages of investigations to enhance cases and support successful prosecutions.

Legal Training Unit
The Legal Training Unit develops and delivers legal trainings to the Department’s uniformed members.

Special Projects Unit
The Special Projects Unit provides research and analysis regarding select complex or high-profile legal matters affecting the Department, and advises on legal and policy matters related to the Department’s use of technology systems.

Legislative Affairs Unit

The Legislative Affairs Unit is responsible for all aspects of the Department’s participation in the legislative process at the federal, state, and local levels. Legislative Affairs attorneys review proposed legislation and communicate with legislators regarding those proposals, confer with stakeholders in response to legislative initiatives and inquiries, and prepare members of the Department for hearings before legislative bodies.

License Division

The License Division is responsible for reviewing and responding to applications for handgun licenses and rifle/shotgun permits in New York City. For additional information regarding firearms licensing in New York City, please visit: Permits & Licenses - NYPD (

Pension Section

The Pension Section oversees issues related to disability retirement benefits and other pension-related matters.

Police Action Litigation Section (PALS)

PALS attorneys provide litigation support to the New York City Law Department in connection with lawsuits arising from police enforcement action. PALS attorneys represent the Department in matters challenging institutional policies, produce discovery materials needed to successfully litigate police action cases, and train members of the service on matters related to police action litigation.

Privacy Matters Unit

The Privacy Matters Unit is responsible for ensuring the NYPD’s compliance with the New York City Identifying Information Law. Led by the Agency Privacy Officer, the Privacy Matters Unit is responsible for providing the Department with guidance on privacy and confidentiality; data security; agency recordkeeping; and access to sensitive information within the NYPD.

Public Safety Section

The Public Safety Section advises the Department and its members on matters involving the enforcement of criminal laws. It includes:

Criminal Section
The Criminal Section is on-call twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, to provide real-time legal guidance to officers in the field. Criminal Section attorneys regularly attend large-scale demonstrations and parades to provide legal counsel to Department personnel concerning constitutional and criminal law issues.

Civil Enforcement Unit (CEU)
CEU works closely with other bureaus to expand the Department’s range of criminal and quality-of-life responses by commencing civil actions, such as nuisance abatement and forfeiture. CEU attorneys regularly participate in Department and inter-agency enforcement operations to target public safety conditions.

Subpoena Litigation & Transparency Unit

The Subpoena Litigation and Transparency Unit is composed of the following:

CCRB Liaison Unit
The CCRB Liaison Unit processes, reviews, and responds to requests from the Civilian Complaint Review Board.

Giglio Unit
The Giglio Unit is responsible for the production of Giglio material—information that tends to impeach the credibility of a witness—to prosecutors’ offices in connection with testimony in criminal proceedings.

Subpoena Litigation Unit (SLU)
SLU is responsible for processing, reviewing and responding to subpoenas, court orders, motions, and requests for the production of Department records. SLU attorneys prepare response papers, appear on motions in federal, state and local court, and advise members of the service on subpoena-related issues.